Village sign scrubs up well

Jessica Perry returns the restored sign to Phil Letman and Jeremy Hickling.

The Burgh “crest” on The Street tells its own special story about life in this part of north Norfolk on the east side of the River Bure.
It features obvious landmarks around the village like the church, Cradle Bridge, and the mill. But look closer and note the two donkeys and the “old boys” on a bench. And it has been a while since the last wherry sailed along this stretch.
The village sign went up in 2004 and had its first facelift in 2018 thanks to efforts by Burgh residents and local artist Jessica Perry, who spent several weeks bringing it back to life in her studio near Blickling.
Jeremy Hickling, of the Reading Room, took delivery of the sign in January 2019 and, on behalf of the village, thanked Jessica for her “beautiful” work.
“It’s taken a couple of years to reach this point,” said Jeremy. “Villagers were concerned that the sign was looking a bit tired but nobody knew who was responsible for it. We raised it with the parish council and after a long debate, it was decided the land belonged to the village and we raised £1,000 through the Tesco Bags of Help scheme to pay for the restoration as well as tidying up the seating area.”
Jessica was chosen for the work because of her previous involvement with village signs around the county, most notably the Aylsham town sign, and Spixworth, Potter Heigham and Rackheath.
“I particularly like the Burgh sign as it is metal and so no issues about rotting wood,” she says. “It is very well done and the artist certainly knew his stuff.”
Simple metallic paint was used but not before the sign was grit blasted, fine sanded and then etched primed. “It’s as good as new and should last another 15 years before needing any more work,” said Jessica.
Where the sign now stands used to be a simple grass bank with a wooden bench seat – a favourite spot for the two gentlemen depicted in the sign. They are thought to be Ambrose Ticherly and Ray Wink who spent many a happy hour having a mardle there.
The two other old timers were the donkeys who retired from giving children rides at the Pleasure Beach at Great Yarmouth.
The sign will be reinstalled sometime in spring when the worst of the weather is over.

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